Use Google services a lot? Time to review your privacy settings

If you use Google services, such as search, YouTube, or Gmail, then Google is collecting and storing a lot of information about you and your browsing habits. The good news is that Google offers a Privacy Checkup Tool.
Written by Adrian Kingsley-Hughes, Senior Contributing Editor

For many, Google is the backbone of their Internet experience. The company offers so many varied services, from the ubiquitous search and Gmail, operating systems and browser, to services such as YouTube and ads.

Lots of ads.

And the more you use Google services, the more Google knows about you, your browsing habits, and your digital life.

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In an attempt to give the end-users back some control, Google offers a Privacy Checkup Tool, which, according to Google, allows you to "review key settings & the data Google uses to personalize your experience."

The first thing you should know about Google's Privacy Checkup Tool is that there's a lot to go through. The tool is broken down into six broad categories:

  • Personalize your Google experience
  • Make ads more relevant to you
  • Control what others see about you
  • Help people connect with you
  • Manage your Google Photos settings
  • Manage what you share on YouTube

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Within each of these categories is a myriad of settings that you can tweak, along with links to manage further settings. If you're been though these in the past, then a review should only take out a couple of minutes. However, if this is the first time, you're going through this, I'd recommend a good half hour and a cup of coffee.

As you'd might expect, you can't use this privacy tool to make you invisible to Google (if you want to achieve that, the first step is to stop using Google services), but you can use these tools to take back some control.

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